David de Gea may be “outstanding” but Juventus stalwart Gianluigi Buffon is still the world’s number one goalkeeper, says Mark Bosnich.
The former Manchester United keeper has opted against placing the current No. 1 at Old Trafford on top of the global rankings in a rather bold call.
De Gea is considered by many to be the best in the business, with Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer his closest challenger.
His most recent performance for United, with saw him put in an inspired display in the 3-1 win at Arsenal, has enhanced his claims to the “world’s best” tag, but Bosnich feels that a 39-year-old legend in Turin continues to set the standard.
He told talkSPORT: “I think De Gea would definitely be in the top three.
“He was absolutely outstanding against Arsenal. Making 14 saves - it was a really great performance from David de Gea and if you’re going to win a title you need a goalkeeper who is going to save 20 or 25 points a season.
“There is no team who has won a title without a great goalkeeper between the sticks.
“But, you’ve got to think of Gigi Buffon, regardless of his age. He came in fourth place for the FIFA Best Player awards this year and was awarded the Best Goalkeeper award.
“I know we don’t see him play as much as Premier League goalkeepers, but I’d still have Buffon ahead of De Gea as number one.”
If Buffon really is the finest goalkeeper on the planet, then the baton may well be passed to a successor next summer.
The World Cup winner has admitted that he plans to head into retirement in 2018, with a Champions League triumph – a major omission on his glittering CV – the only thing which could convince him to play on.
Buffon told Sky Sport Italia in October: "There's no margin [to change my mind] because I'm quite convinced of the choices I've made.
"This is my last season and I'm pretty sure of the choices I make. One or two more years wouldn't add or take away from what I've already achieved.
"The only way would be to win the Champions League. At that point, to try to win the Club World Cup."